Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Intriguing raptor!! Monday,10th january, 2011.

Having consulted three weather forecasts I was unsure what to expect they were so different!! In the event the morning was quite pleasant, but the afternoon became quite murky with some light drizzle at times.

The first birds of the day were three Fieldfares near home that were obviously migrants. resting up a little they then left high to the north east. A bit early for return passage I would have thought!! Soon after a couple of Chough moved from their nearby territory over to some favoured feeding area in the east.

A day in the south of Islay at various spots. Port Ellen Bay produced little except a few Red-breasted merganser and Goldeneye, all of which were in display at some time or another. The nearby Kilnaughton woods were somewhat quiet but calling Great Tit and Blue Tit lent further strength to the fact that the birds , at least, felt there was an improvement in the weather. A Treecreeper , possibly two , were also noted, as were a pair of Collared Dove in active display!

A visit to the Oa Reserve showed the flock of Twite at Kinnabus to still be at least 900!!! At one point, 700 birds were on the track alongside the "fodder crop" deliberately put in place and a further 200 on nearby wires. What a sight!! Odd Bramblings were amongst them and a small number of Chaffinch. A fine male harrier swept through and caused some understandable confusion!!

Now, as Jeff Randall says on the Sky channel financial programme , " You heard it here first, folks ". In mid December, 2010 I had a distant,large falcon in the Sound of Islay, which was moving away from me, was decidedly large and powerful and light in colour. That was about the extent of a very distant fleeting glimpse!! Similarly views of a bird occurred on the Oa that month, but with no more detail. Now two residents on the Oa have reported separate sightings, the best of which included detail that "it looked like a large white Peregrine". Keep your eyes open!! It can't be the Gyr from last year as, sadly, that individual was eventually found dead so we may have another one in residence ( although that can mean using most of the island as a territory!! ).

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